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Passion, People and Principles

What Did You Learn from Drucker?

post # 356 — April 18, 2007 — a General post

About a year ago, I participated in a webinar entitled “Best Selling Authors Pay tribute to Peter Drucker.” Apart from myself, the 80-minute audio seminar (which you can still listen to here) featured:

  • Tom Peters, business consultant and best-selling author of “In Search of Excellence” and many other titles
  • Frances Hesselbein, founding president and chairman of the board of governors of the Leader to Leader Institute
  • Marshall Goldsmith, Ph.D., consultant and best-selling editor of more than 20 business books, including “Coaching for Leadership”

In September of this year, the same group of people will be repeating our tribute, live and on a larger scale in Sydney, Australia. (To get details of the program, contact the Australian Institute of Management.)

In addition to a panel, we will each be making in-person presentations about how Peter Drucker influenced our work.

During the 2006 webinar, I said that, after the Bible and Shakespeare, Peter Drucker was the most quoted and least read author in history.

My question for all of you out there who have read his work is: what’s the most important lesson YOU took away from Peter Drucker? How did he influence your approach to management and business?


Wally Bock said:

Instead of one thing, let me suggest a troika that came from The Effective Executive. Focus on contribution. Build on strength. Allocate resources to opportunity.

On a personal note, at an age when I was very much younger, I learned the value of the Zero Draft in lucid writing. That’s the draft before the first draft when you discover what you need to know.

posted on April 18, 2007

Barry Wilkinson said:

For me the most long lasting Drucker contribution was his (1997?) HBR anniversary piece about the effects of the shortage of talent.

In retrospect it was so obvious. “we know how many 25 year olds there will be in 2010 – they were born in 1985″.

Shades of Maister and the “war for talent” ???

posted on April 18, 2007

Michael Sampson said:

I agree with Wally … “focus on contribution” … is the number one thing I’ve benefitted from. The second is “the effective executive focuses on one thing at a time … make the decision to put all efforts to that … and once that’s done … choose the next most critical thing”.

I need to get better at both!

posted on April 18, 2007

Ed Kless said:

For me it is that the only valid purpose of an organization is to create a customer or as he also put it, to create wealth outside of itself. The pupose of a school is not an efficiently run school, it is an educated student. The purpose of a professional firm is not an efficiently run firm, but a more success customer (client).

posted on April 20, 2007

S. Anthony Iannarino said:

Business is marketing and innovation . . .

posted on April 22, 2007